Walsall town centre crime down

CRIME rates in Walsall town centre have fallen by more than 20 per cent according to a partnership formed to tackle problems in the area.

The 'Be Safe' initiative was set up by West Midlands Police to help reduce the amount of crimes committed in Walsall's night time economy.

The campaign, which included an increased police presence on foot and with sniffer dogs, ran from 2008 to 2009 and as a result there were a total of 207 fewer victims of crime in the town centre.

The figures are revealed in the borough's Community Safety Plan which highlights achievements in the last 12 months and also sets out targets for the next three years.

Crime has fallen year on year since 2005 with total recorded crime falling by a further 12 per cent in 2008/9, which equates to 3,138 fewer offences, the plan reveals.

Notable achievements in the report include:

■ Small fires started maliciously down 21.3 per cent

■ Vehicle damage down 18.4 per cent

■ Criminal damage falling by 13.3 per cent

■ Deliberate property fires down 3.6 per cent.

Councillor Garry Perry, cabinet member for safer stronger communities at Walsall Council, said: "The three-year Community Safety Plan which runs from 2008 to 2011 has been revised to reflect the results achieved in 2008/9 and the priorities for next year. The plan reveals the substantial progress Safer Walsall Partnership has made in reducing crime in the borough.

"However, we are aware there is still a lot more work to be done and priorities are being addressed in the next phase of the Community Safety Plan."

Safer Walsall Partnership's CCTV operators dealt with more than 2,600 incidents between April 2008 and March 2009 – generating 740 arrests.

The partnership also funded an operation to tackle anti-social behaviour hotspots in the borough and the anti-social behaviour unit worked with partner agencies to deal with more than 600 reported cases in 2008/9.

A successful bid was also made for £13,000 from the Home Office to tackle dangerous drinking in Walsall.

● Do you believe Walsall town centre is getting safer? Send us your views to walsall.editorial@cintamworth.co.uk

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